After the video went viral, people from across the world are showing massive love and support to the little boy.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 21, 2020. It has since been updated.
A heartbroken mom from Australia recently shared a video of her 9-year-old son crying profusely and pleading her to give him "a rope" so he could die; to show people how bullying impacts children. Quaden Bayles, 9, was born with Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, and has been on the receiving end of bullying at school. He had also attempted suicide several times, Fox 8 reported.
The video - which has now gone viral with over 18 million views and counting - shows Quaden crying and pleading that he doesn't want to live anymore and wants to die, with his mom Yarraka explaining the context in the background. “I’ve just picked up my son from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people [to] know, parents, educators teachers, this is the effects that bullying has, this is what bullying does,” she says.
When Quaden breaks down and says "I want to kill myself," you can see the anguish the child has been going through because of his condition. His mom can be heard saying that this has been happening for a long time now.
(Trigger warning: The following video might be hard to watch for those who have been bullied or have undergone emotional and mental trauma)
While Quaden's plight could move the strongest heart, the more worrying truth is that he is not alone. According to the National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2018, nearly 1 in 5 students (21%) report being bullied during the school year, impacting over 5 million youth annually. Not just that, youth who are bullied are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school as per CDC, 2018.
Furthermore, the CDC reported, "We know that bullying behavior and suicide-related behavior are closely related. This means youth who report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior."
Coming back, she goes on to say that she does not want to point fingers at the school or the students but she wants more and more people to know about the damaging effect that bullying has on kids. Yarraka told SBS that she witnessed a classmate of Quaden patting him on the head and making references to his height.
Following the event, Yarraka has pulled Quaden from school and is considering homeschooling him.
Quaden's plight has moved millions across the globe and supportive messages and comments are pouring in from all corners for the mother-son duo. Not just that, American comedian Brad Williams, who also has dwarfism took note of the little boy and has set up a GoFundMe page to enable him and his mom to visit Disneyland. The goal of the campaign was to raise $10,000 but the campaign has so far raised a whopping $1,81,000 for Quaden's cause and it is safe to say that humanity isn't dead! Also, according to a recent update by Williams himself, Fiji Airways has agreed to donate the flight tickets of Quaden and Yarraka so they could have a good time at Disneyland!
Aside from a few bullies who are bullying me for taking a stand against bullies, this fundraiser is unreal. So amazing to see all sorts of people come together. Quaden is going to have the time of his life! And it’s all thanks to you! https://t.co/vGLHQXzO0K— Brad Williams (@funnybrad) February 20, 2020
"I’m setting up this GoFundMe to let Quaden know that bullying will not be tolerated and that he is a wonderful human being who deserves joy. I want to fly Quaden and his mother to America, get them a nice hotel and bring them to Disneyland," he wrote in a GoFundMe campaign. He goes on to add, "This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough. Let’s show Quaden and others, that there is good in the world and they are worthy of it."
He also explains that he is in touch with Yarraka and any money left after the trip will be donated to anti-bullying charities.
This makes me sick. I’ve been trying to get in touch with this family. If any of my Austrialian fans know this family. Please tell this wonderful boy that he has me and an army of friends all over the world that support him.— Brad Williams (@funnybrad) February 20, 2020
Besides, Quaden's story has also caught the attention of local athletes and celebrities. One of them is Indigenous Australian professional rugby league footballer Latrell Mitchell, who recently met with Quaden and took a picture with him, Fox 8 reported.
Actor Hugh Jackman also came out to support the Quaden and told him that he's got a friend in him.
Quaden - you’ve got a friend in me. #BeKind @LokelaniHiga https://t.co/8dr3j2z8Sy pic.twitter.com/jyqtZYC953— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) February 20, 2020
Here are some of the comments that show that love is a powerful thing and no power is greater than its power.
A commenter wrote, "love you little man be proud who you Are.. we all stand with you 💪🏿❤️💛🖤🔥👍🏿"
Another said, "I’m so sorry. My heart breaks for this precious little boy. Sending hugs and prayers."
"You stay strong young man my heart goes out to you and your family. Hate bullies with a passion," said another viewer.
"You will do amazing things young man. Stay strong, you are so much more important than those bullies. Prove them all wrong!" said a Facebook user.
Most of us probably will never truly understand what Quaden and his mother have been going through but what we can do is be a better version of ourselves and support the ones who need us!
Source: Facebook | Yarraka Bayles